Caring for Sterling Silver Jewelry

Sterling Silver Jewelry: The standard for quality, reliability, and beauty. Here are some simple care suggestions: Sterling silver jewelry is always made of silver that is 92.5% pure. It is composed of 925 parts of pure silver and 75 parts alloy, usually copper. Sterling silver jewelry always has the stamp of sterling silver on it, accompanied at times with the name of the designer or jewelry manufacturer. The word "sterling" is the most respected in the jewelry business today. Since pure silver by itself is too soft, another metal such as copper is added to it, to give the silver its added stiffness and other qualities. The resulting mixture is composed of 925 parts pure silver in every 1000. This proportion never varies. It is fixed by law. This is referred to as sterling and is often incorrectly called solid silver. Sterling silver jewelry is made from this sterling silver, which is a white and highly reflective precious metal. It is of superior quality, which reflects in its look and feel. Although less durable than stainless steel and other precious metals, sterling silver is often employed in watches that coordinate or look like sterling jewelry. A protective coating may be added to prevent tarnish. Sterling silver jewelry is not very cheap, yet is also not beyond reach. It has a very distinctive look and can be easily distinguished. There is no mistaking the high reflective shine of this jewelry, which is one of its trademarks. It adds a sophisticated charm to your personality. Sterling silver jewelry is very stylish and lends an incredible elegance to your entire look. The inedible stamp of quality along with the chic sophistication makes it a wonderful "must have" product. It is a very versatile ornament that crosses all barriers of age, cast, creed etc. It can be worn by anyone whether young or old. Some care has to be taken with any sterling silver jewelry that you own. This jewelry does tarnish with time. Tarnish on silver starts out as a yellowish tinge and is most easily removed at this stage. Silver tarnish progresses to a blackish purple coating becoming much more difficult to remove. Prolonged, unprotected storage is generally when tarnish occurs. Usually, tarnish will not appear on jewelry that is worn on a regular basis. The gentle friction from wearing and the contact of oils on the skin will likely keep your jewelry bright and sparkling. Note though that taking certain medications can cause changes in skin acidity and may cause jewelry tarnishing. To exercise good silver care, keep your jewelry free of tarnish by frequent cleaning. A simple diluted solution of mild dishwashing liquid and water can clean your silver jewelry. You can make your own cleaner by putting 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of salt in an aluminum pan - make sure it?s aluminum, that?s what makes this work - add hot water, mix it up and drop in your tarnished silver. A "magical" chemical removes the tarnish. Then, rinse and wipe dry.The presence of moisture will promote tarnish so, If possible, store your jewelry in a zip-loc plastic bag with anti-tarnish paper. Light tarnish or oxidation film can be removed with silver polishing cloths. You may find them at supermarkets, hardware stores or jewelry shops. Heavy tarnishing will require commercially available polishing creams, or dip liquids. Use care with these, limiting the exposure of gemstones to silver cleaners as they may contain chemicals that can harm certain gemstones. Always rinse and dry jewelry thoroughly. I've found that using a hairdryer works very well to insure removal of moisture. Use a soft cloth to make sure no residual cleaner remains. Note: Cream and dip liquid polishes will most likely remove tarnish and oxidation from your jewelry. They will also most certainly remove any decorative oxidation designs and patinas as well. Therefore, it's best to keep these items free of tarnish through proper storage and the use of cleaning cloths. BUT avoid cleaning your sterling silver with tissue. Believe it or not, tissue can scratch your silver. Avoid jewelry contact with abrasive soaps, chemicals, perfumes, hair sprays, dyes, etc. Remove your jewelry while washing, bathing, doing dishes, household chores or cleaning with chemicals. Silver is a relatively soft metal and can scratch, so don?t scrub with abrasive cloths or cleansers. Remove your jewelry before doing strenuous activities, exercise, sports, swimming (both ocean saltwater or chlorinated pools), to prevent scratching, denting or loss of gemstones. Remove jewelry before going to bed to avoid kinking or breakage. Sterling silver jewelry has a unique air of class, sophistication and style surrounding it. It is a wonderful thing to own and also to give to people who matter. It says a lot about your personality and taste. Wearing sterling silver jewelry can immediately enhance your over-all persona. It is available for both men and women being one of those essential pieces of jewelry that you must have in your collection. Its versatile look allows it to be used for many occasions, and the feel and texture is quite fashionable, as well as glamorous. By knowing some of silver's characteristics and taking a little extra care, your silver jewelry can give you a lifetime of enjoyment.